Tourist income from the trips of residents and internationals who entered Spain totaled in the first nine months of the year 45,137 million euros, less than half that of the 99,470 million of that same period of 2019.
With the data of entries and expenditure of international tourists offered by the Frontur and Egatur surveys and the tourism survey of residents of the National Institute of Statistics (INE), between January and September the expenditure associated with these trips totaled 45,137 million euros.
To make this comparison The expenditure of Spaniards on their trips abroad has not been computedAlthough if you buy a tourist package, a part of the income does stay here.
Waiting for the data from the last quarter and to verify the effects in the sector of the sixth wave of the coronavirus, with an explosion of infections of the omicron variant coinciding with the Christmas holidays, Spain will close the second worst year in its recent tourism history, mainly due to the sharp drop in international tourist arrivals.
However, the numbers are improving significantly month by month compared to 2020 and in some cases – such as tourist trips by nationals or the profitability of the hotel sector – are already at levels similar to those of 2019, before the pandemic of the covid.
Almost 20 million foreigners compared to 67 million in 2019
Between January and September of this year they entered Spain 19.69 million international tourists, which left 24,179 million euros; and the Spanish made 102.15 million national trips, in which they spent 20,958 million euros.
These figures are better than those of 2020, when in that period 16.83 million international tourists entered who spent 17,711 million euros and the Spanish made 79.66 million trips in which they disbursed 15,150 million euros. Total spending amounted to about 32,870 million.
But they are very far from the numbers of those months of 2019, with 99,476 million in income, of which 73,511 million correspond to the expenditure left by the 67 million international tourists who entered and the remaining 13,100, to the 16.2 million trips made by nationals within the country.
The impact of the coronavirus crisis has been felt throughout the world but in the Spanish case it has a more intense effect due to the weight of Tourism sector In the economy, which represented, according to the latest data published by the INE, 12.4% of GDP and 12.9% of employment in 2019, before the pandemic.
The 2020 Tourism Satellite Account, which measures these impacts on GDP and employment, has yet to be published, but will undoubtedly reflect the sharp decline in activity.
Ómicron complicates the closing of the year
The outlook has been complicated at the end of the year because the sharp rise in covid infections due to the omicron variant has led to massive travel cancellations, that were already seen on the bridge of the Constitution at the beginning of the month, and that have now intensified with Christmas, according to sources from the sector, agencies and hoteliers.
The few indicators that are known for this period show a high impact of the new variant: according to estimates by the International Council of Airports in Europe (ACI Europe), passenger air traffic on the continent fell by 20% between November 22 and on December 12 after South Africa reported on November 24 to the World Health Organization (WHO) about the appearance of omicron.
Although ACI Europe found a 9% increase in air traffic from December 13 to 19 Regarding the period from 6 to 12 of the month, it advances that ómicron will affect passenger traffic in the first quarter of 2022.
Therefore, the year will end far from the 123.900 million euros that were entered in all of 2019 due to the spending of international tourists (91.912 million euros) plus that made by nationals on their trips through the country (32,000 million).
The numbers of foreign tourist arrivals will also be far below, which in 2019 had signed a record 83.5 million. Until last October, 24.8 million travelers entered the Spanish borders, making it difficult to reach half of those at the time, as the Government had announced.
About 170,000 million euros lost in 21 months
The sum of the losses in these almost two years of the pandemic is chilling: in the last 21 months they have stopped generating about 170,000 million euros of direct and indirect activity, some 90,000 million of them in foreign currency, according to Exceltur figures.
This business alliance also calculates a drop in tourism GDP of 69% in 2020, to which must be added the one resulting in 2021 (over 2019), and the destruction of around 350,000 jobs, in addition to another similar figure of workers who have gone through the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE).